The value of studying CIPS with us

Impact Assessment

Interviews were conducted in July 2019 by three of our client companies – which focused on the impact and value for money of their employees attending the CIPS Diploma course. There were eighteen participant interviews .

Clients were asked by their managers to rate the impact of the course on a scale of 1-5 (where 1 was poor, 2 limited, 3 good, 4 very good and 5 excellent) .The overall impact of the course was considered to be 4.3.

The managers then asked clients about specific areas where the course had made an impact.


  • Overall clients considered the impact of the course to be very good/excellent.
  • The course was viewed as having a general impact across existing procurement structures and processes within the organisations surveyed
  • Specific areas of impact included: supplier management; stakeholder engagement; developing contracts; forces that impact on relationships in supply chains; legal aspects relating to the performance of contracts.
  • Soft skill impact included: Internal and external stakeholder communication; Professionalism: Morale building; Conduct in meetings; Handling resistance

The main areas of impact were:

Existing structures and processes

‘’I use it all the time no one really has the time to stop and think but with (CIPS) you’ve got a background against which you can benchmark what you do in your every day to day practice.’’

‘’It’s everything really. We can change things and I’ve used the course to make lots suggestions about changes.’’

‘’It shows why we do things like when ( two people on the course ) were doing supplier preferencing model and bottleneck items and supplier tiering and I can see what that is now and I’ve used that.’’

‘’Actually it’s made me understand far more why we do things we do at ( the organisation to which I belong) rather than just blindly doing them. So before I thought writing down all the questions that supplier asked and telling everyone what they are was just a bureaucratic chore but I can see why now’’

‘’My manager’s been teaching me about procurement and now I’ve got something to discuss what is being said against rather than just listen – so I can think okay well that’s a shortcut but there’s another way.’’

‘It gives you a benchmark that you can compare what you’re doing against the right way’.

Supplier management

‘’I’m much more aware about preparation before supplier meetings and all of the tools the course provides are invaluable for this like what the sourcing policy is , is it a transactional analysis , do a risk analysis and what are the selection criteria. ‘’

‘You learn this is how you reach out to a supplier and this is how you bring them on board. The course does that and seeing how other people do it who are not in Tesco really helps with this. It’s easy to think ( our company’s ) way is the only way but when you talk to other people in the group you can see how they’d go about it.’’

‘’It’s made me far more aware. Before (I studied CIPS) when I went into a negotiation Id have an idea I wanted a better price but I didn’t really know what I wanted like I do now. So now I set out objectives and think about the five rights and reflect on the negotiation to see what went well and what didn’t – and its not just negotiation but everything’s like that.’’

‘’ I sit down and reflect on supplier meetings after: what was my initial approach like; did I establish rapport; did I challenge sufficiently; how did I deal with knockbacks, what was my’’ body language like; what were the crucial things I did; did I achieve my objectives. I’d have never thought about such a structured reflection before I sort of tick myself off against the things the course has shown me. ‘’

‘’It gives you a structure – a sort of formalised approach to supply management- things like this is how you reach out to a supplier and this is how you bring them on board. (As a result of the course) at the end of the negotiation I always check myself against the plan I’ve made.’’

‘’Its made me much more aware about preparation and what tools to use and what work to do. Before supplier meetings I didn’t used to consider all the factors but I do now.’’

‘’Its formalised my approach to supply chain management and I’ve found out things like this is how you reach out to a supplier or how you bring them on and its been really useful for that.’’

Stakeholder engagement

‘’I use (CIPS) all the time to move things on with stakeholders. My organisation is quite fragmented so you have to raise your own profile. (CIPS) has given me the confidence and knowledge to do that a lot in procurement like with the BOM. The way we used the BOM for technology wasn’t efficient at getting stakeholder buy in so now (because of CIPS) I can understand the BOM and how procurement could get involved so I was able to challenge what it was like and get a way for procurement to be more involved.’’

‘’Its snowballed with stakeholders because of ( CIPS) . Stakeholders can see how we set up a contract with the Turkish project and how we award the contract and they’re really pleased with what we’re doing. That makes a difference and we are being contracted much sooner now so its early buyer involvement and they want us to challenge now. ‘’

‘’Its busy so no one has time to stop and explain things like the sourcing process and what we’re trying to achieve but (due to the confidence CIPS provides) we can challenge what we’re doing in meetings and people think okay that’s worth doing and if that’s the value added procurement can bring we’ll ask then again ‘’

‘’It affects my thinking every day. It gives me a better understanding of things that exist and where things that have been devised fit in and a basis to challenge and improve them and I’ve done that with e-catalogues but it’s a general thing’.

‘One of the biggest impacts for me has been about stakeholders and different types of stakeholders. In a project before we might have consulted some stakeholder groups but I wouldn’t have thought about the others and knowing about who our connected stakeholders are things like that and about involving them has made things run far better ‘


‘We did cover contracts internally but CIPS has massively helped me along with that. It’s the course that made the penny drop’

‘I definitely used lots of ideas from CIPS when I was drawing up contracts. Like I always use the five rights of procurement now when I’m thinking about what to do.’

‘I wouldn’t have thought of using qualitative KP1s before (the course). But I actually found they were the best ones.’

‘’Before the course I sometimes took the easy option rather than systematically going through all the aspects of best value – because I didn’t know about them. So with a supplier we have now there’s a problem and if we’d had a financial check we might have had a different outcome and I would have done that now because the course has shown that you need to do that to reduce risk.’’

‘’It makes you step back and think about everything a lot more and that’s been right across everything for me. Like the other week when we were talking about public sector tendering I thought oh well I could use some of that when I do.’’

Forces that impact on relationships in supply chains

‘’We’ve just completed a tender and the company that won the tender had gaps in the numbers and we wouldn’t have gone with them but I was able to use other factors (as a result of the course) and argue we should take those into account when we awarded the contract to them – and that was directly because of (CIPS).’’

‘’I got the (CIPS) course book out when I did my category plan to look at Porters five forces and it helped me with what is going on in this market.’’

‘’I was asked to justify why we needed to add something to the range and I used SWOT and the risk analysis.’’

‘’I’ve found the models like stakeholder analysis and supplier preferencing really useful and I’m always referring to them day to day’

Legal aspects relating to the performance of contracts

‘’When a supplier challenged me on whether indemnity insurance was required I knew it was because we ‘d done it on the course.’’

‘’I put a liquidated damages clause in the contract when I read it back. It was a bit of a light bulb moment and I thought that’s CIPS popping into my head!’’

‘’Knowing about international law is really good especially when we’re doing group contracts.’’

‘’I always use the stuff we’ve done on laws and legislation to write up the contracts.’’

‘’I’m far more aware of what to do when contracts are not being carried out as they should and I know what the process is to resolve things and that really helps.’’

‘’I was doing something with maintenance suppliers and it made a big difference that I knew about implied and express terms ‘’

Soft skills

Communication; Professionalism: Morale building; Conduct in meetings; Handling resistance

“It’s confirmed for me that the way to be (in meetings with stakeholders and suppliers) is to keep my cool and not take it personally and be open to other points of view and look for the middle ground and I make a point of being like that now.”

“On a personal note the effects on me have been a lot to do with the way I communicate with stakeholders and keep everyone in the loop and the way I conduct myself in meetings- like how to handle opposition and resistance in meetings.”

“I’ve definitely got more of a feeling of the professionalism of procurement. Like when (the tutor) was talking about how in public sector procurement tendering there’s equal treatment and fairness and transparency. We were discussing how (our organisation) run tenders something like that and saying (our organisation) is taking this approach to motivate supplier’s. I felt quite pleased really because no one else was doing that and other people on the course take the mick sometimes about what we must be like with suppliers because our reputation hasn’t always been good in that area. And that has a knock on effect. A feeling we’re part of a professional team…we’re quite cutting edge really! “

“By providing growth opportunities through the course (Tesco management) is saying it looks to us to take things forward and not just carry out processes so its certainly made me feel valued and that I’m here to shape things as a professional.”

“It’s certainly built us as a team and that’s quite noticeable. It started with us talking about the best way to approach the course but that moved onto the content and about procurement generally and people are excited about procurement and the possibilities and want to share what they’re doing with the team.“